Seattle Kraken, Jones and Beniers

Seattle Kraken Notebook: Injuries and Wins

On the official listings for the Seattle Kraken, netminder Philipp Grubauer is listed as week to week, forward Jonas Donskoi is day-to-day, and goalie Chris Driedger is of course long term on IR recovering from an ACL injury.

Although he’s day to day at the moment for a family matter, Martin Jones (above left) arriving this summer as a free agent was an enormous acquisition, signed for a single year for $2-million. Philadelphia is an acquired taste, especially for a North Vancouver, BC boy, and last season didn’t go so well there. The 32-year-old knew he’d get a chance to compete Seattle, which he has, and he brought tremendous high-end depth to the club’s netminding.

Jones helped carry the San Jose Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, along the way recording consecutive shut-outs in the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues. The Sharks returned to the conference final three years later, losing in six games to those same Blues, the eventual Stanley Cup Champions.

Picking up goalie Christopher Gibson a week ago proved another savvy move by Kraken General Manager Ron Francis, especially considering the timing of it. One never knows, and with Grubauer and Jones missing from the line-up on Tuesday night in Calgary, Gibson was the back-up to Joey Daccord. The Finnish-born Gibson brings organizational depth and adds a limited level of insurance.

The Kraken Road Show

Next stop for the 3-1-and-1, coulda, shoulda, woulda been 5-and-0, Seattle Kraken road warriors is St. Paul, Minnesota on Thursday night. Confidence shouldn’t be an issue at this point, it’s the key to everything ultimately, but avoiding the lulls would be helpful. The lapses seen on night one of the season in Anaheim, again last week in Chicago and for moments in the game in Calgary obviously should be avoided.

That said, the Kraken have scored twenty goals on the road this season, the third most in the NHL.

According to the team, Andre Burakovsky, Vince Dunn and Jared McCann are all point-a-game players against the Minnesota Wild in their most recent efforts against the club, over a span of six games, five games, and four games respectively.

Another positive emphasis lately has been the balanced scoring and the solid offensive efforts from all of the forward lines. Nothing says it better than having 19 different goal scorers this early in the season, the most in the NHL.

Up top Matty Beniers (above right) leads the league in rookie scoring with nine points and has a five game point streak.

Kirill the Thrill

Watch number-97 for the Wild, the Kraken will be … carefully.

I still recall attending and covering the Detroit Red Wings pre-season Rookie Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan a number of times over the last decade and for a stretch after 2015 when Kirill Kaprisov was drafted by the Wild, we’d ask, “well, is Kaprisov coming?” Nope.

“You’re gonna love this guy Simmer, he’s unreal,” Wild then minor league and now NHL broadcaster Joe O’Donnell would tell me about Kaprisov, year after year.

He finally showed up. He won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie-of-the-year in 2021 at age 24 with 27 goals and 51 points. Last year, that number jumped to 108, 47 of them goals.

He showed up all right.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.